Lancaster to review accommodation fire safety after Bolton halls fire

The uni have launched an investigation

In light of The Cube, a purpose-built student accommodation building in Bolton, burning down in November 2019, Lancaster University have started a review of local student accommodation.

The Cube burnt down due to combustible cladding, similar to that of Grenfell Tower. As issues have been highlighted with student accommodation on and off-campus in many cities, fire-safety reviews have been urged by the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

Williamson requested that University Vice-Chancellors: "Put in place a review to ensure that there is 100 percent (fire safety and regulatory) compliance across all buildings used by students." The current interim Vice-Chancellor, Steve Bradley, has announced that Lancaster University will be engaging in a fire safety review that will be completed by 31st January 2020.

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This review includes all Lancaster University teaching, research and student accommodation buildings, all partner properties on campus, and off-campus purpose-built student accommodation. This does not include households in town. The university is requesting that all purpose-built student accommodation providers registered with LU Homes send written confirmation that their buildings meet the regulatory requirements.

Professor Bradely has ensure that this review will not be a one-off. Lancaster University will be looking into evolving the current internal processes, and processes utilised by LU Homes, in order to create a mechanism that will ensure fire safety is permanently under review.

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Caton Court student village in Lancaster City centre has already fallen short of fire-safety checks. The purpose-built student accommodation was served with an Enforcement Notice by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 22nd October 2019, as it failed to meet safety procedures. This Enforcement Notice lead to them no longer being accredited by LU homes, due to the backlash from students and the press. Any properties failing to reach the fire-safety review will lose their accreditation from LU Homes.

It has been confirmed that the results of the review are expected to be available in the public domain.